Barça’s health still depends on Messi’s goals. Although they no longer guarantee titles, as in their best times, the 10 goals give life to the team, allow undecided footballers like Griezmann and Dembélé to be supported and help promises of the stature of Pedri to triumph. At 33, Messi has finally found the goal and Barça feels so confident that they have chained four away victories in LaLiga. Life is faced in a very different way from the top of the classification that gives access to the Champions League. You can even win and score from the effectiveness and not necessarily from the game as it happened in Granada.
Messi scored two goals in a difficult game at the beginning and that in the end became such an easy exercise that Koeman replaced the Rosario and kept Griezmann. The French opened and closed the scoring in two decisive actions that ratify him as a starter after winning the position of soldier from Braithwaite. The answers are more natural at Barça after a time of forced decisions, the majority pending from Messi. Barça fans feel safer if they see Messi happy and the well-being of 10 depends on his goals, even if they are survival, decisive against Granada. You can even beat without defense when you have Messi.
The game started in the Barça area. Araújo was injured in the warm-up and, as Lenglet was sanctioned, Koeman had no choice but to resort to Umtiti, who was re-caught in the absence of Piqué. And the Catalans played with the rear-view mirror, very insecure in defense and unable to get the ball from their court, well pressured by Granada. Barça’s instability was reflected as soon as the ball was put into play after a forced transfer from De Jong to Busquets that ended with an excellent intervention from Ter Stegen after a shot from Puertas.
Barcelona’s chances of victory were for the forwards to make a difference, a circumstance that required an exercise of aim especially on the part of Messi. The 10 fluttered before the front of the area when the ball was badly cleared by Soldado and was at the mercy of Griezmann. Although he was offside, in the referee’s opinion, the Frenchman was enabled by the Granada attacker’s ruling and scored: 0-1. Eight games after his last goal, the versatile Griezmann recovered his punch as a striker and the sense of the game as Messi’s link in the transition from 0-2.
On the 10th he received the ball on the balcony of the area and hit an impossible screw shot for Rui Silva due to the poor withdrawal of Granada. Diego Martínez’s players were left halfway after claiming an obvious hand from Busquets at the start of the play crowned by the Barça captain. Messi’s goals already fall in pairs, also by fault, a luck that has eluded him since July 16 against Osasuna. The free and low kick of 10 made it 0-3 to despair of Granada, fatigued and unhinged with De Burgos Bengoetxea.
In the absence of thread and control of the game, the Catalans achieved victory from the force, led by Pichichi Messi: 11 goals. Three goals counted in three shots while none were conceded after not committing a single foul despite the unreliability of the defense against Ter Stegen.
The replacement of 10
Diego Martínez was useless by the changes because Barcelona applied himself to the possession of the ball and government of the crash, less discontinuous and just as accurate after Griezmann closed wonderfully, for control and definition, a pass from Dembélé. The 0-4 allowed Koeman to rest Messi and De Jong and give Trincão a few minutes and especially Riqui Puig. The Catalans played with such security that they did not even allow Granada to score. Even Pedri learned to be selective because the party did not ask for his intervention after goals from Griezmann and Messi.
From a stable line-up, Barça recovered their self-esteem in a scenario as unique and demanding as San Mamés and showed that they have also regained confidence against a complicated rival like Granada. Waiting to gain defensive reliability, Koeman seems to have fitted the forwards for the moment: he scores 10 and Barça win.